Real Name: Unknown (at time of broadcast)
Aliases: None known
Wanted For: Abduction, Rape, Murder
Missing Since: September 1992
Details: American and Canadian police are searching for the rapist and killer of six-year-old Corrine "Punky" Gustavson of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The assailant is also suspected in the abduction, rape, and attempted murder of three-year-old Mandy Tremblay. She lived in an apartment with her aunt and mother, which was right next to a park. At 6pm on May 26, 1992, she realized that she had left her shoes at the park, so she walked over to retrieve them. While there, she was kidnapped by an unidentified man. After searching for two hours, her mother called the police. The next day, she was found sexually assaulted and severely injured in a field nine miles away. Disturbingly, it appeared that the assailant had driven by there and thrown her out of his car without stopping.
Mandy survived the attack but was unable to help with the case due to her age. The only clue investigators found were some of her clothes, five miles away. Her left shoe was never found. The investigation stalled until the morning of September 6, 1992, when Corrine was abducted from her backyard while playing hide-and-seek with her friend, Lindsay Knott. Lindsay and another child saw the abductor throw her into a blue van and drive off. A police search soon began for her and the abductor.
Tragically, two days later, Corrine's body was found in a truck lot nine kilometers from her home. She had been sexually assaulted and smothered to death. At the scene, investigators found both footprints and tire prints. The latter indicated that the suspect drove a mid-sized North American front-wheel drive vehicle with Goodyear Invicta GLs on the back with approximately 20% wear and bald tires on the front. The former indicated that he wore miter type baseball cleats, size 5.5 to 7. This was a patented trade design, manufactured in Canada.
Investigators were also able to determine that Corrine had been killed in another location and dumped in the truck yard. This is similar to what happened to Mandy. A criminal profile was developed of the suspect. It stated that he was in his late teens to early twenties, does not have a girlfriend, is a loner, and is fantasy-motivated. The profiler believes that he will most likely re-offend if he is not caught.
Since Corrine's murder, billboards about the case have been placed throughout Edmonton. Investigators have no suspects in it, but believe that her murder may be related to Mandy's attack. However, the suspect remains unidentified and at large.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the November 24, 1993 episode. It was also profiled on America's Most Wanted during the investigation and documented on Cold Case Files after it was resolved.
Results: Captured. Corrine's uncle was originally the prime suspect in her murder because her body had been found underneath his truck. However, he was later cleared through DNA evidence. In March 2003, eleven years after her murder, the police arrested Clifford Sleigh in connection with it after his DNA matched that found on her body. He was already in prison, serving time for two unrelated sexual assaults. The other victims were his niece and girlfriend's daughter.
Sleigh had been a suspect since the first year of the investigation. However, he had not been considered a strong suspect because three of his friends gave a false alibi for him. Investigators learned that he owned baseball cleats identical to the footprints found at the murder scene. He admitted to sexually assaulting and smothering Corrine. He tried to plead guilty to manslaughter, but the court rejected it. In May 2005, he was tried and convicted of her murder. He is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
Authorities suspect that Sleigh may have been involved in attacks on other girls, including Mandy, but he has not been charged in those cases.
- Autopsy results show little girl sexually assaulted, smothered
- Assault resembles Gustavson abduction
- Girl fights off abductor
- Police hope DNA will solve decade-old sex slaying
- Man charged in girl's murder admits to sexual assault
- Corrine Gustavson trial begins
- Witness says girl looked like a doll
- 6-year-old violently raped before death, expert testifies
- Kidnapper looked like "bogeyman" to playmate
- Closing arguments made in murder trial
- Mother makes request at murder trial's end
- Edmonton man found guilty in brutal child slaying
- No parole for 25 years for Alberta child killer
- Mother of Corrine Gustavson commemorates 25-year anniversary of death
- Corinne Gustavson Memorial
- Corinne Gustavson on Find a Grave
- Clifford Sleigh on Murderpedia